Last updated on February 20th, 2021 at 12:16 am
I knew as soon as I got my first passport stamp, I wanted to explore more of the world. But I was quitting my corporate job and didn’t know how I’d pay for it. That wasn’t going to stop me though, I was going to make a way!
During my trips abroad, I’d often pick other people’s brains to see how they afforded it while also doing my own extensive research.
Because when you want something bad enough, you figure it out.
What I learned were many tips and tricks, but also how to find a travel style within my means. Which meant being strategic about where I was going and the money I was spending.
I used to have the limiting belief I had to be well off to enjoy the finer things, but it’s all about perspective. Knowing that life is finite should motivate you to live your best life—especially if that includes travel.
Many people would ask me, “How can you afford to travel so much?” “How can I travel without a lot of money?” “What are ways I can travel more?”
I was the same way, and I’d often get envious of others. Confusion lingered in my mind as I wondered how people could afford it and when my time would come.
My wanderlusty self wanted to explore the world for a long time, but how was it going to happen while I was unemployed at the time?
So just like everyone else, I was eager.
I love other people want to travel the world, so I want to help you accomplish that goal whether it’s solo or with loved ones.
I’m not suggesting you splurge on travel, but if funds are tight, you can create a budget travel style that will fit you for now.
Sooooo how can you travel the world, when money is tight or you’re cutting cost?
I compiled a list of ways, you can save money on travel. These literally allowed me to go to 19 countries.
Here are 6 areas to help you budget so you can increase your international travels:
Open a Charles Schwab account
This is my go-to bank account for international travels for a few reasons.
The number one is ZERO ATM fees, which includes out the country. Many times, you’ll incur fees when taking money out, which can be up to a $15 loss each time.
With Charles Schwab, you need not worry. If there’s a chance you get charged — they will reimburse you. Also, they offer $100 for opening up a new account, so get on that ASAP.
*To get approved you can’t have anything negative on your credit
Money on Flights
Too many times people don’t take that trip because the flights are not within their budget. But don’t let that hinder you anymore.
Be open to international deals that are leaving out of cities a few hours from you! If you have to drive or take the bus 3-5 hrs to save hundreds of dollars for flying… DO IT. When I was in Detroit and I would take the bus to Toronto or Chicago to save $400+ on international flights.
Totally worth it, IMO.
Skyscanner is an app that allows you to set your home city and search for the cheapest flight leaving out of there. It works best for people flexible with the dates and don’t care where they go, they just want to explore.
But you can also use it to look up specific flights and dates since it uses Googles API it has the cheapest flights.
Scott’s Cheap Flights is a subscription that sends out daily emails for international destinations leaving from US cities. I’ve seen round trips out of the country for as low as $200. He also offers a premium subscription for $50/year, and you can set your home airport so you can get deals specifically for there.
Secret flying is a website that post multiple flight deals daily, not only are they leaving out of US cities but also from all over the world. Super helpful for people who live outside of the US looking to travel more.
Hopper is an app that tells you the best time to book a flight. If you need to go a destination on a specific date, it will tell you the best time to book based on their algorithm.
It’s not always a few months in advance.
Depending on where I’m going, I’ll choose accommodations that work best for my budget.
Booking.com is perfect if I want to stay in a hotel, but prefer to do so on a budget. The cool thing is you can select your price range, but be open to a 2 or 3 star hotel (you can go without the extra amenities) long as it’s a nice and clean hotel. You can also select a high rating to ensure you’re getting good quality.
Airbnb is probably my favorite and I’m sure you all are familiar with it, but now they have the option to do installments. So if you don’t have all the money at once, they will break it into 2 payments for you.
When using Airbnb, I also select a price range that fits within my budget. You’ll more likely have better luck with prices for a private room vs getting an entire place to yourself.
It’s not the worst thing in the world.
Plus, it gives you the chance to interact with your host and get suggestions from them.
Hostel World has dorm style accommodation worldwide. The problem is, in American culture they get bad reps. But I promise you, I wouldn’t be out here living the struggle (fully).
I’ve found cool hostels of wonderful quality and some offer curtains for your bed, or capsule styles so you’re enclosed in your own pod. You can find hostels with individual rooms, if you’re not keen to sharing space with others.
Couchsurfing is like Airbnb, except it’s F R E E! You can sleep on someone’s couch without having to pay a dime, but I suggest paying the $50 to verify your account. It will increase your chances of your request being accepted.
I’ve used it and have exceptional experiences. But also make sure their references check out.
Workaway is perfect for extended stays. The annual fee is only $44 you can work anywhere in the world for lodging and sometimes food. When I first moved to Chiang Mai, I didn’t have an apartment, so I did Workaway for 2 weeks.
Travel to inexpensive countries
I plan to go to more expensive destinations later in life because now the priority is to budget. So the bulk of my travel has been in Southeast Asia countries where the average I spend is $30/day.
If you check out Price of Travel, you can gauge how expensive each city you want to visit is. Just know that even prices can fluctuate within a country.
Like in Thailand, you’ll spend less money in Chiang Mai, but more on the islands.
If you’re on a budget, see which cities are more affordable for you.
I take public transportation, walk, or use Uber (or whatever the country’s equivalent is). Local transportation is more affordable, but also having a set cost from point A to B is good too. In many countries, you’ll have to haggle for a set cab price.
I don’t have the energy or time.
Taking Uber, you’ll more than likely get the best rate and it’s one less thing you have to pay for in cash.
If you want to travel from city to city within a country, use budget airlines. Mastering the art of packing light will eliminate any baggage fees, so don’t worry. I’ve flown one way from Chiang Mai to Bangkok for under $30 doing this!!!
Many countries have budget airlines that allow you to travel intercontinental.
Here is a list of the budget airlines worldwide! Time to cross places off your bucket list.
Eat where the locals eat
First off, the food will probably be BOMB! But also, the prices are more likely to be affordable.
When traveling, I’m always skeptical of restaurants that try to lure me in. Take an extra 15 mins, walk around, and talk to local people to get recommendations.
Hope these tips are helpful in you beginning your budget travel journey. Remember, you deserve to see the world, so don’t let money stop you—be more strategic.
Would you be willing to try these if it meant you could travel more? Comment below and let me know!